Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Imported from our Harvest Church Blogs
Original Blog Date: 07-20-2005

I haven't written anything for July and I thought I'd better write something that I was thinking about. I came across some more people who think that having a band in church is wrong. I still can't believe there are so many people who feel this is wrong. This is why I've decided to write a bit on Traditions.
Much of God's people today are so set in traditions that they miss what God is trying to do. They have ignored many songs that are being used (right now) by God to lead people to Him and they've cut out the opportunity to allow others in their congregation to use their "gifts" and "talents" to help lead in worship with their instruments. For example, someone in a congregation may enjoy playing a fiddle, but would not be allowed to play because that's a "country music" instrument. The fiddle is one of the most beautiful instruments ever invented and can really be used in a mighty way for Worship music.

Some traditions are good, but some are just traditions and have nothing whatsoever to do with what God is wanting to do, TODAY. It's our responsibility, to rightly discern whether what we are doing is Biblical or merely traditional. If it's a tradition, then change SHOULD be much easier for us to accept. We should be willing to give up any tradition that would prevent God from moving, the body being edified, or from someone coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The funny thing about traditions is - We all have them and don't even realize it. Even if what we are doing right now was born out of change from tradition, we could soon become set in our new traditions as God moves in a different direction now or in the near future.
Much congregational worship consists of hymns and a piano, only. I personally think we should do more hymns, and I realize that many of the great hymns will live on long after me or the majority of the "christian" music being played in the mainstream Christian realm today. "He whispers sweet peace", "Because He lives", "It is well with my soul", and "Amazing Grace" were here before me and will be here after you and I are gone.

In many churches, you will have a piano, an organ, and hymns with a choir. All this is great and what I grew up with in Church. God can move in this kind of setting too. This goes without question. My question, though, is:

Has God set limitations on how we are to worship Him? If I were to answer my own question, I would say YES. No, I haven't just contradicted myself. Let me explain:

The Bible says that God is a Spirit, and those that worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We know also that if you come to the altar, and remember that your brother have ought against you, you should leave your gift at the altar and go and make it right with your brother or sister first, before your gift will be acceptable to God. This would obviously be true in worship too. So here are the stipulations to how God wants us to worship Him:
  • We must worship Him in Spirit and Truth (God is actually LOOKING FOR those that will worship Him this way)
  • We must worship Him with a clean conscience (we can't be disobedient to Him and then come to worship Him)

  • If you know of any other stipulations from the Bible outside of what I've mentioned, feel free to write me and if it lines up with God's word, I'll add it to the list. I don't think anyone can tell me that God wants us to worship him "conservatively", "quietly", and in Hymns and with a Piano only, ALL of the time. There are times when we should just fall on our face and worship him in reverence and in quiet. There are times when we should dance as "Miriam" (I'll talk about this later) and "David" did. There are times when we should sing with everything we've got, lifting our voices up to the Lord (Read Ezra 3:11). In other words, there are no rules to worship. Rules are put there by "MAN". Denominations are a MAN thing as well. These are all traditions or devisive ways of Man.

    Thank God that he looks upon the heart, (1st Samuel 16:7 ). Since we know that God wants us to worship Him in Spirit (pneuma) and in Truth, what does that mean to you?
    As far as music is concerned, I wrote a song called "The End of Psalms". Here are the words, which were taken from Psalms 149 and 150:

    Praise the Lord, Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise the Lord, Lift up to Him the sound of a NEW song, in the assembly of His Saints, in the assembly of the Saints!......
    Let us praise His name with DancingPraise him with the tamborine, come on and praise him with the sound of the trumpetSome day he'll call us home with that. Let us praise him with the clash of the cymbalsPraise him with the beat of the drumAnd Yes we'll praise him with the Harp and the LyreLet everything with breath....Let everything with breath....Let everything with breath praise the LORD!

    You can read Psalms 149 to 150 for yourself and see 1 way (not the only way) God is to be praised.

    After Moses, by God's power, led the children of Israel across the Red Sea, there was a lot of praising going on. Can you imagine how they felt? I can't even begin to imagine what they must have witnessed. I'm sure they all thought they were goners "except for Moses" and were prepared to die. After God destroyed the Egyptian Army, they had a great desire to praise the Lord. Notice what happens:
    Exodus 15:20-21 - Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea." (NIV)

    They were shaking tambourines and dancing! If this had happened today, they would be considered too radical for worship by much of the community of God. I believe God accepted their praise though and we should also have the freedom to praise as Miriam did.

    I really think we all have traditional ways of doing things in Church that we need to look at and honestly say "Is that tradition biblical or is it just a tradition?". If so, is there a MORE biblical way of doing it? I think we'd be surprised at how much of our expectations and church routines are steeped in traditions that really don't line up with the Bible or the way JESUS would have us run the church. It's not just about the music, it's about every aspect of our lives. Much of that stems from the way we were raised (at home and in church), which also may or may not have anything to do with God's ways.

    If I had a prayer after writing about this it would be: "Lord, help me to follow you and forget about the traditions of the past. Let me LET YOU lead me and guide me. Let me be open to change, and not limit you and how YOU want to move. When someone suggests change or I feel led to change, please help me to judge the change based on your word, and not on past traditions. Let me cling to the traditions that line up with you, and discard the ones that don't. Please give me discernment and wisdom to know the difference. For your Glory and for the edification of your Bride." Amen.

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